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Dustin

Audio Cutting Out in Cakewalk

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I am running into audio dropping out when I attempt to either:

  • Play a cakewalk project (any project with any complexity)
  • Record a track in a cakewalk project

This is on a new computer, replacing an 8 or so year old computer. That old computer was able to play those files fine. The new computer, even when I 'freeze' the tracks in the project, it is unable to keep up/dropping tracks periodically.
I have tried all of the following steps outlined in the article at and more: https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/2007013007/Audio-Dropouts-Clicks-and-Pops-When-Playing-and-Recording and https://help.cakewalk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360021858253-I-m-experiencing-latency-or-audio-dropouts-while-recording-

  1. Increasing the 'safety' of the M-Audio M-Track Quad/increasing the buffer time.
  2. I have increased the Hard Disk Buffer Size to 1024.
  3. I have turned off Windows Defender real-time scanning, turned off any/all miscellaneous services running, etc.
  4. I have turned off any/all other sound cards on the system to ensure none of them are interfering in any way.
  5. I have tried replacing the Aud.ini file from my old computer to my new computer.
  6. I have installed/reinstalled the sound card and am using the appropriate Asio setting in Cakewalk for it.
  7. I have reinstalled Cakewalk.

The new computer in question: Windows 10 Pro with an M-Audio M-Track Quad. The M-Track Quad has been installed with the latest drivers (pulled from the site https://www.m-audio.com/support/download/drivers/m-track-quad-windows-driver-v2.9.64). I have no problem opening up any of my files, and they all appear correct. The only difference is my old machine was running Win 7 and this one is Win 10 Pro. The new machine is (obviously) much more beefy than my 8 year old computer - and it ran fine on that one.

Any thoughts?
 

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If it is an audio drop out in the traditional sense, CbB 2019.09 and newer display a toast message with a code and a link to the help page with table containing the code, cause and suggested remedy.

If a toast is not being displayed, one cause of audio cutting out is one or more plug-ins running in demo mode. Being a new install, it may be worth making sure all the plug-ins are activated.

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No, no 'Audio Engine' message gets displayed or anything like that. I have the latest/greatest version of Cakewalk. I also only generally run default cakewalk/native instruments 'komplete' suite, which are all installed and activated - but I'll take a look to see if I can find any I may have missed in regards to the install to make sure none are in demo mode.

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If it's an "off the shelf" computer than it needs to be tweaked for DAW use.  Start with disabling all the unnecessary crap in your startup folder, then reboot your system.

If that doesn't help, then find a guide to Win 10 DAW Optimization (Lots of them online), follow the instructions, and see what happens.

Edited by JonD

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The driver from M audio is from 2015. That's getting old. I wouldn't rule that out. Do you have a second interface you can try? Music stores will let you demo some models. 

 I just upgraded to a new Motu 4x4. Mostly because I needed the better up to date drivers, both my old interfaces are just fine feature wise but performance is not great. You can only get so many years out of hardware and if the company doesn't update drivers audio interfaces quickly become paperweights.    

  • Great Idea 1

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Unless you go the RME route. Wish I had the money to go the RME route with how they update drivers for interfaces that are over 10 years old!

 

@John Vere  How do you like your new MOTU unit?

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You got that right , RME was my first choice until I looked at the price! I don't even own a guitar worth that much. Motu seems to be high on a lot of peoples lists of brands with good drivers. I also like the metering on the front. Something both my currant interfaces lack. Friggin blinking little tiny itsy bitsy light??  

I just ordered it last night and it's on it's way. I freaked out at first because all the Canadian suppliers were showing out of stock. I found one at Long and Mcquade in Victoria were my son just happens to live. So now I'll see if someone want's my Scarlett 6i6 1st gen around here. Certainly nothing wrong with it but I've always lusted after a better interface. 

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I recently retired my M-Audio FireWire 410 (drivers not updated since inMusic bought them from Avid in 2012), and replaced it with a 3rd gen Scarlett 2i2.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen performing flawlessly on Win 10!

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Ya Scarletts were on my list for sure. It's kinda weird . I always have checked for the latest drivers for my interface. The Tascam us1641 was a long time ago 2014, It is still an awesome interface for recording 16 tracks live .  I can work on just about anything and it is solid as a rock- but the RTL is very high. For $199 bucks I certainly got my money's worth and then some.  It must be well over 10 years old.   I will keep it as a piece of vintage gear. 

 Then my Scarlett 1st gen sat without an update for a long time so I gave up. Today I checked and lo and behold there was a new driver from 2019? I guess I missed that one. Anyhow I installed it along with the updated mix control and WTF, I went from 27 ms RTL down to 9ms wow. That's using 44.1 Hz.  Looks like Focusrite has come a long way and is now among the good guys in driver improvements.  They certainly didn't start that way when I bought mine I had many driver issues.  I dislike the pre amps and stupid peak level system on mine. I have to use the 3/4 inputs and other pre amps. This is another reason to give the Motu a try, better A/D and pre amps ( I hope) 

The Motu  4x4 was a better bang for the buck than the Focusrite 4i4. The Scarlett 4i4 is $ 339 can. And the Motu $290. So $49 dif.   The motu has a few better features like the 4 real meters ( Yeah)  And tandem RCA outputs, and small things like switches for 48 volt for each channel .  The only thing missing from both is no SPDIF. But then I have the Tascam if I need that ( Yamaha 01V ) Also my 6i6 has 2 headphone outs sand I'll miss that too, Hmm, Mabey I just keep it :) 

M Audio Fast track Pro- Only good with W7 terrible drivers. Boy is it old but still kinda works OK. Gathering dust. 

Tascam us1641- 6 year old drivers and huge RTL but will keep forever for multi channel live recording. 

Scarlett 6i6- Still good I guess, but not happy with pre amps. Keep or sell? 

Motu 4x4 - well see how much better it really is than the Scarlett. 

Soundcraft Signature 10 - Handy USB mixer with very good ASIO drivers. But takes up a lot of room. Our live mixer now gathering dust due to Covid. 

 

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Alright, I did discover one issue. I had not yet activated Melodyne which I use on the vocal tracks. So I fixed that, and the problem persists. I will try a different sound card, as yeah... last driver was released a while ago. I'll keep you all posted.

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Yes, I would pursue something up to date with Win 10 drivers.

I am sad that my M-Audio is sitting around as a paper weight, when the hardware is perfectly fine. But time and software has marched on ...

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After a Motu, I had first a RME Fireface 400, but now I have a RME Fireface UFX II that is a superb audio interface. The main reason for RME choice is that they produce every four/five months a driver update.

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Posted (edited)

Ok - an update to this issue. I recently got my hands on a MOTU M4. It does the same thing. So, the computer in question is:

OS: Win 10 Pro
Processor: Intel i7-9700k 8 Core Processor
HDD: 3 total drives - 2 Corsair MP600 Force Series Gen4 500 GB M.202280 NVME SSD and one SSD
RAM: 32 GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200

I have uninstalled (properly) the M-Track Quad. I have also (in addition to getting new card) have:
* Turned off USB power Management
* (attempted) to update my PC's network adapter driver (no new NIC available)
* Installed latest device drivers
* Turned off USB power management
* Disabled user account control
* Adjusted my processor scheduling to Background Services
* Adjusted my PC's power options for high performance
* Made sure my PC doesn't disable/suspend USB devices
* Turned off 'real time' Windows Defender protection
* Turned off my screen saver (obviously)
* (Tried) to update my PC graphics driver (it is UHD 630 though, which had no updates)
* I also tried removing duplicative VST files. It did not break anything, but did not fix anything either 
* Turned off indexing on my primary audio drive (where samples are run from, where Cakewalk saves to)

Yet the problem persists. Any additional things I could/should try? I will try uninstalling and reinstalling all software associated with music production - any particular order I should reinstall them, or does that not make a difference? Only other thing I could try is reinstalling Windows 10 and starting over from scratch. A dramatic option, but one I am not ruling out. Just not sure if that would make any difference though, and would hate doing all that work to end up in the same place I am now.

EDIT: I have also disabled the onboard sound card through BIOS, ensured SpeedStep is disabled and C-States are turned off (which did not remediate the issue).

Edited by Dustin
added in additional troubleshooting steps I have tried

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1 hour ago, Dustin said:

Ok - an update to this issue. I recently got my hands on a MOTU M4. It does the same thing. So, the computer in question is:

OS: Win 10 Pro
Processor: Intel i7-9700k 8 Core Processor
HDD: 3 total drives - 2 Corsair MP600 Force Series Gen4 500 GB M.202280 NVME SSD and one SSD
RAM: 32 GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200

You didn't mention the brand and model of the new computer. Sometimes manufacturers of off-the-shelf computers add resident programs that run in the background to make support easier, but could possibly be messing with real-time audio.

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This is a computer I built myself. I installed Windows 10 pro, and then turned off some stuff (can't remember what all I changed though).

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dustin said:

This is a computer I built myself. I installed Windows 10 pro, and then turned off some stuff (can't remember what all I changed though).

Then theoretically you shouldn't be having this issue with a new clean computer, with optimized settings, and a new audio interface, and all drivers up to date.

Have you tried running LatencyMon yet, to see if the computer is having some trouble running real-time audio?

The report might show a driver causing a DPC latency issue.

Edited by abacab

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So with this, how long should I run it, should I actively be doing stuff on my computer or leave it alone while it runs?

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No need to do anything special. LatencyMon can identify problems even at idle.

A few minutes is a good place to start, and see if there are any obvious problems. If that looks good, then try different use cases.

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So here is what it gave me, which is indeed the case. I'll dig in further on this, but I am fairly confident I have done everything mentioned. But I will investigate further - But it appears as though it is ACPI.sys

LatencyMon.PNG

LatencyMon2.PNG

Edited by Dustin
Added new screenshot/Driver

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